Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Today is My Mother In Law's birthday, and she works the night shift. So upon waking this morning at crack o thirty with the collective, I knew we had to call and serenade her. I do a fantastic operetic version, it is requested yearly.

So upon waking, I thought of my first time meeting her.

I think it was June 1989? Correct me if I am worng DH, or MIL. You know I am am terrible with dates. It was a summer vacation to The Black Hills, with DH and his Grandparents. It was a hot summer. I recall reading all of the Wall-Drug signs, eating my first buffulo burger, seeing the black hills rise out of the great plains and proclaiming them as very pretty mountains. Seeing the look on DH's face that meant "we need to get you out, every once in a while".

I digress, back to MIL.

She was in the cage at BB'Cody's Saloon in Deadwood South Dakota, watching the money counts. My first impression was . "Wow, she is really pretty, and well put together." I recall she had on black heels, a white blouse, and black pants. I also recall thinking, "she is super young".

So that night back at the house, we were doing dishes ( I do not recall the meal). I knew I loved her, and I knew why DH picked me. His Mother and I were washing dishes, chattering, chattering, and chattering. We laughed and talked, and it felt very natural. (Hint: we are both talkers!!) I then note DH's Step Dad, is watching boxing and hasn't said a word in the last 5 hours. So I said to her. (I would not recommend this move, to any 19 year old girl meeting her boyfriend's Mother)

AWTM: "Can I ask you something?"

MIL: "Go ahead"

AWTM: "How can you stand living with him?"

MIL: Staring at me...

I think we went out and had a smoke.

I cannot recall the conversation specifically. I recall the spirit of the conversation. It was a good one. There have been many spirited conversations since that one.

MIL, also divorced "The Silent One" I think about a year or so after that.

I miss her, I have not seen her in a year. The last time I saw her, my DH was hugging her in my kitchen as we had gotten not so good news about her Mother. So, off she flew to watch her Mother die, 3 1/2 years after I watched my Mother die. I then saw her a few days at the funeral. (Yes, the funeral were Dash fell in the grave.)
I then caught about 15 minutes of her prior to one of my trips to Washington D.C.
We have not had much quality time.

We were supposed to get out and see her this summer, but due to the nature of work, and the price of gas, and just plain old distance/time/money factor. It looks like that visit is scratched. We were hoping to get to the ocean for about 3-4 days. Somewhere on the shores of North Carolina. So we could listen to the water hit the shore, and smell the sea air. Go for a walk for miles. Let the collective meet the ocean for the first time. We need to have a bottle of wine and catch up. So much has happened in the last 16-17 years.

The babies miss her sooo much. She is the only Grammy they have, and they love her. Oh, and they miss her.

I thank you for the gift of your Son, and so many of the things you have done for us. The late night shopping trips while we were all working wacky shifts while in college. The Sunday dinners, for the times you have done my laundry, and cleaned my apartments, pantrys. For CELEBRATIONS of little things, for teaching me to always have a reason to toast, and a reason to celebrate. For having the pleasure to work with you and ENJOY it. I do miss that. For your presence while in the very excruciating labor of Dash. Your helping me make it through the sleep walking and surreal years of my Mother's illness and death. For the casseroles, and cakes, and care. For allowing me to break down again and again, when I hated it... For your genuine care and concern you have for others, when you do not get the same.....

So hold on Grammy, maybe next summer. I will will bring the wine. I will even make you a raspberry chocolate cheesecake. Take care of yourself, you are the only Mom and Grammy we have left, and I am grateful. We have a lot to celebrate!

Just like you taught me.

Oh, and if you live within driving distance of your Mom today, go buy her a flower or two and give her a hug....she deserves it.

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